Sara Jane stretched and slowly opened her eyes. She glanced at the old Mickey Mouse clock sitting on her old bedside table, the one her father had made for her 10th birthday seventy years ago. She couldn’t believe her eyes, it was 11:30. She had slept the morning away, that was a common thing these days. After all, what reason did she have to get out of bed? She slowly got up and reached for her robe lying on the pink chair in the corner of her bedroom. Walking into the kitchen, she went over to the coffee pot and started her morning coffee brewing. “I guess this is my noon coffee now ?“ She laughed. Now she was talking to herself. Well there was never anyone else to talk to since this virus came along to ruin her life. Her daughters video called her when they had time, but it wasn’t the same as having them come in person. Her son Ted came in person when he could but his sisters didn’t like it , so she told him not to do it to keep down controversy. She poured herself a cup of coffee and walked over to the window seat. Soon it would be spring, her favorite time of year. Her daffodils were already starting to bloom. She wanted to go outside and dig in the dirt and plant more flowers like she did every year. She stretched and stood up slowly walking into the living room and walked to the front door. Opening the door, she stepped out onto the porch, the fresh air felt so good. She took a deep breath and sighed it felt so good to be outside. If only she could go for a leisurely walk around the neighborhood. Before this virus came along Sara Jane had walked every morning with her best friend Mary. Now she couldn’t even sit on her front porch without her daughters fussing on her. She knew they would be upset with her now if they saw her standing on the porch. Sara Jane felt her phone vibrate in her pocket. “ O my one of my girls checking up on me,” she said to herself. She pulled out her phone and answered.
“Hello Amy,” She said.
“ Mama what are doing outside on the porch! How many times do we have to tell you not to go outside? “
“Amy it has been a year since I went anywhere. Stepping out on the porch is not going to kill me. How did you know I was on the porch anyway? Do you have somebody spying on me?”
“Oh Mama, I can see you, it's a video call.
“I forgot,” She laughed “I should have stepped into the house before I answered.
“Keeping it from me? Well you're going to get to go out of the house next monday. I made you an appointment to get the vaccine.”
“You mean I can finally get out of my prison and go places?”
“Mama don’t say that. You know it is for your good. We love you and want to protect you.
“ I know Amy but I am tired of staying home. I have always loved this old house but it feels like a prison lately. I am ready to live again. I might as well be dead. I wonder sometimes if it would be better to just take a chance on getting the virus than staying inside and going mad with loneliness. I don’t get the exercise I need. Staying in is slowly killing me. I will be glad to get the vaccine if that means I can go places. Let’s go shopping after my appointment?”
“I am sorry Mama, but we can’t. I would love to, but you have to wait until you get the second shot. I really think even then you should wait until the case numbers go down before you go places.”
“Amy I am sorry but I dont care anymore what you and your sisters say. Come the first day of spring I am leaving this house.”
“Mama, you can’t do that. The first day of spring is just next saturday. You want to have your second shot before you go out.”
“I am telling you this is ending, I can’t stay inside any longer. Spring is when it stops. I am getting back to living. I’ll see you Monday,” She said as she hung up the phone. Sara Jane set down on the porch swing and began to pray for patience with her daughters and that they would understand her need to get out and live. After praying for a while, she pulled out her phone and opened her bible app and began to read.
Monday morning Sara Jane had her first vaccine shot. She enjoyed a few hours out and seeing Amy. She didn’t mention going out on the first day of spring, hoping Amy would forget and not try to stop her. She had wanted to go out for lunch afterwards but of course that was forbidden. Now she was back home all alone again. She walked into the kitchen to fix a bite to eat. After she had eaten she went and laid down on the bed to take a nap. There wasn’t anything else to do.
Meanwhile Amy was having a zoom meeting with her sisters Candy, and April about preventing their mother from going outside saturday
“ I have an idea,” Candy said “ why don’t we buy several bouquets of flowers and bring them to her? Also we could get a cake with spring decorations on it and give her a party. Of course we would need to wear our masks and social distance. What do you think of this idea?”
“I like that,” responded April, “ your right though we need to be careful and use precautions. Do you think that would satisfy Mama? I want her to be happy but I don’t want her to take a chance with her life.”
“Well I am all for it.” agreed Amy, “ Let’s do it. I’ll get the flowers. Can one of you get the cake?”
“I will,” said Candy.
“Ok what time should we show up,” asked April.
“ Well how about 9 o'clock. That way we can get there before she goes somewhere.” said Amy “she is determined to go out.”
They all agreed on the time and said they would see each other saturday.
Sara Jane’s alarm clock went off at 8 o'clock Saturday morning. She stretched and sat up . Sitting on the side of the bed, she leaned forward and looked out the window. It was a beautiful day, the first day of spring. The day she would leave her prison. She hated to call her much loved home that, but she was tired of staying home. She could see the fresh dirt in her flower garden from the window. Her son Ted came yesterday and plowed it for her . He was the only one who understood her need to get out of the house. He was so much like her, he loved to plant and to be outdoors. He and his wife had bought a beautiful farm. He had never wanted her stay completely inside, but to just be smart. Well she had listened to the girls long enough, she was going out today. She was going first to the track for a long leisurely walk then to meet Mary for lunch. After that she would go to the local nursery and pick up the plants for her garden. She started to get up when she felt a sharp pain in her chest. It took her breath for a minute, then passed. What was wrong? She relaxed for a moment thinking it was just a catch, when suddenly it started again. She was sure it was her heart, She had a heart attack about 8 years ago and this felt the same. She started to reach for the phone but stopped. “NO I can't. I don’t want to be in the hospital. I can’t take another day of prison”, she said. She laid back on her bed, slowly the pain subsided. She began to feel a piece she hadn’t felt in a long time. She realized she was going to the most beautiful place she could go today. She smiled, she was free.
The girls pulled into the driveway at the same time Saturday morning. Spring had started on a beautiful day. The sun was shining and the temperatures were warm.” I hope we got here in time,” Amy sighed “ she is determined to leave the house today.”
They walked to the front door and knocked but there was no answer. Amy unlocked the door.
“Mama where are you? We have a surprise for you! They called.
There was no answer.
“We must be too late. She must have left already,” April said.
“No, her car was in the carport.” Stated Candy.
Amy walked into the bedroom “Mama?” She ran to the bed, “Hurry something’s wrong!” she screamed.
April and Candy rushed into the room “What’s wrong!”
“I think she’s dead!
“NO, she can’t be”, They cried.
As tears flowed down her face Amy moaned, “ she said she was leaving.”
They just stood there in shock. Had they caused this? Probably a heart attack. Her doctor had said the walking she did was so good for her and they stopped her.
“She told me staying in was slowly killing her," said Amy.
“It’s ok, She is happy now,” Ted spoke from the doorway, surprising them, they had not known he was there.
“Happy?” The girls questioned.
“Yes, look at her smile," He said. "She is free."
They all turned and looked at their mother. There was a big smile on her face. Yes, she was enjoying spring With her God.